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super mario visits the Bills


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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- The Buffalo Bills have made no secret of their need to improve their pass rush, and they're sparing no expense in courting prized free agent, defensive end Mario Williams, to provide that push.

In a text sent out by the team Tuesday evening, the Bills confirmed Williams had arrived in Buffalo. The team's website said general manager Buddy Nix and defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt flew to North Carolina and picked Williams in a private jet. The player was scheduled to have dinner with Nix, Wannstedt, CEO Russ Brandon, coach Chan Gailey and defensive tackle Kyle Williams.

The Bills have also expressed interest in free agent receiver Robert Meachem, though it's initially unclear if the former New Orleans Saints' receiver has agreed to visit Buffalo, a person familiar with discussions told The Associated Press. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because talks are ongoing.

Behind quarterback Peyton Manning, Williams is regarded as one of the top free agents on the market, which means the Bills would have to pay a hefty price if they intend to land the player selected first overall in the 2006 draft by Houston.

"We plan to be aggressive in free agency," Brandon told Buffalo's WGR-Radio, "and resources will not be an issue."

In six seasons, Williams became the Texans' top defensive player before being slowed by injuries in each of the past two years.

Listed at 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, Williams is a two-time Pro Bowl starter, who set a Texans' franchise-best 53 career sacks, including a team single-season best 14 in 2007. Williams was limited to playing just five games last season as a result of a torn chest muscle. He also missed three games in 2010 after having surgery to repair a sports hernia.

Despite Williams' absence last season, the Texans defense finished second in the NFL in fewest yards allowed, and set a team record with 44 sacks while helping Houston to its first playoff appearance. Before making a decision on whether to re-sign Williams this offseason, the Texans went ahead and re-signed running back Arian Foster to a five-year, $43.5 million contract.

Both Nix and Gailey have emphasized this offseason that improving the team's pass rush is among the top offseason priorities. Buffalo (6-10) managed just 27 sacks last season, 10 of them coming in a 23-0 win over the Redskins on Oct. 30.

Earlier on Tuesday, Texans owner Bob McNair said he was still interested in re-signing Williams, but noted they would have to compete with other teams now that the player became a free agent

it's going to be a "sign your own guys and get some depth" FA season for the jets guys

hey, it works for the Giants and Pats* and steelers

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